Premier's Remarks On Changes To The Cabinet
Today, Ontarians have a new Cabinet.
Our new Cabinet has six ministers in new portfolios.
And, I'm pleased to welcome two new MPPs to the table.
Bob Chiarelli, the MPP from Ottawa West-Nepean becomes Minister of Infrastructure.
And Glen Murray, the MPP for Toronto Centre, becomes Minister of Research and Innovation.
Both Bob and Glen have a strong foundation of leadership in public life and I know they will work hard, every day, on behalf of Ontarians.
Since the winter, when the Lieutenant Governor last swore in changes to the Cabinet, the Ontario economy has made real progress.
Back then, the recovery was just beginning.
The jobs that had been lost at the worst of the recession were just starting to return, in a trickle.
Ontarians responded to the recession with strength, courage and determination.
They rose to the occasion by pulling together and looking out for family members who lost their jobs.
Ontarians are enrolling in skills training programs, to give themselves a better shot at a new job.
They are working with their governments, to get construction started on roads, bridges and community centres.
And Ontarians are doing their part under our new tax plan, which has made our province much more attractive to new business investment.
And when you look at it, we've come a long way.
A harmful recession has turned into solid economic growth and Ontario's economy is now leading the country.
We've made that progress, together.
But there's a lot more to do.
The unemployment rate is at 8.5 per cent.
The economic recovery in the U.S. is still uncertain.
So we're going to keep our foot on the gas.
Ontario's new Cabinet will keep driving forward with our Open Ontario Plan.
That plan is all about opening Ontario up to new opportunities, new jobs and new growth.
To focus our government on the core priorities of Ontarians, I will be creating a new Priorities and Planning Committee of Cabinet.
That committee will devote its attention to our core priorities: economic growth, education and, of course, health care.
We know that a strong economy will support our plan for better schools and better health.
But we also understand that good schools and a strong, publicly funded health care system are essential to our continuing economic success.
Ontarians know that the best way to give economic opportunity to all our children is to ensure we give them the best education.
And that's why we're moving ahead with full-day kindergarten this fall -- with many schools in lower income communities getting the first opportunity to send their kids to kindergarten for a full day.
Ontarians know that medicare must be reformed to improve access to doctors and nurses, and shorten wait times at the same time that we stretch every health care dollar to get the most patient care.
And that's what our plan's focus is all about.
Ontarians know we are part of a globalized economy that is extremely competitive.
And that's why we must provide the best possible education and training opportunities for our workers.
It's why we must protect and enhance our public health care.
It's why we must build the infrastructure that our economy depends on.
It's why we need to build strong, clean technology industries.
It's why we need to modernize our tax system.
It's why we need to develop the Ring of Fire in the North.
And it's why we need to build up our financial services sector, which now enjoys the best reputation in the world.
Our Open Ontario Plan will chart that course over the next five years.
Ontario's new Cabinet will drive that plan, and focus on the things that are most important to Ontario families: their jobs, their schools and their health care.
This doesn't mean our government won't from time to time turn its mind to other things.
And it doesn't mean we won't do other things.
But these are Ontarians' priorities.
And that makes them our priorities.
We will continue to make progress in the best way possible: by always working with and for Ontarians, right here in Ontario, the greatest province in the best country in the world.